Friday, May 10, 2013

May 12 Is National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

Fibromyalgia has vastly affected my life for over four years now. However, it was not until last year that I realized that there is a National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. I accidently stumbled upon it on Facebook because one of my friends with fibro shared a photo about it. Before I knew that such a day existed, I didn’t consider how important awareness days are to illnesses, especially chronic ones. But now I see that with so much misinformation and lack of understanding out there, every person with fibromyalgia should remember and share this date!

The more we get accurate info out there and the more we talk about our chronic illness, the more likely that those around us will start to understand and support us. It seems like everywhere we go people are talking about cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. But what about fibromyalgia? No, fibromyalgia isn’t a terminal disease, but it’s still a killer. It’s a killer of dreams, of careers, of friendships, and of relationships. Just because we technically can’t die from this condition, it doesn’t mean we should suffer in silence and not try to find a cure—or at least a treatment that actually works for every fibro sufferer.

Yes, I’m relieved that pain-in-the-neck fibro isn’t a death sentence, but I often feel alone and rejected. So many people think our symptoms are in our heads or can’t possibly be as bad as we make them seem. I am a homebody—not by choice but because fibro is robbing my quality of life—so I often feel like I’m kept out of sight and out of mind of the public’s eye. I don’t want to be famous or get pity for my medical condition. Rather, I seek understanding and proper medical treatment. There are still so many doctors out there that don’t believe fibromyalgia is real. And there are far too many fibro warriors that suffer alone because their loved ones fail to see how debilitating this chronic condition can be at times.

Let’s spread the word about fibromyalgia this National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, on each future awareness day, and all the days in between. The first step to reclaiming our lives is helping ourselves, each other, and those around us to recognize and thoroughly understand this invisible condition. Let’s show the world that yes, we are struggling and yes, we are in pain. And let’s put a face to this invisible syndrome. Let’s show everyone that we are fibro warriors! We fight today and always for ourselves, our fellow warriors, and an end to fibromyalgia.

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